A surprising announcement from the Vatican today. Pope Benedict XVI is resigning at the end of the month, citing his advanced age.
The priest at a local Catholic church says like many, he was surprised by the announcement.
Pope Benedict called his decision one of "great importance to the life of the church," said St. Joseph Catholic Church Rev. Andrew Garner.
Many believe he will continue to contribute to the church in other ways.
"He may now begin to do some of his finest work in the ministry. He is a great theologian and loves to write, and I think we can anticipate he will continue to write and to publish."
Father Garner says while the announcement brings a mix of emotions, he is excited to see what the future holds for the Church.